2018-10-21 10:14 culture blog

The Man Who Saw America - The New York Times

‘‘I decided if I swore off socks, I had more money for books.’’

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2018-10-15 16:38 history blog

Engraved Ostrich Egg Globe is Oldest to Depict the New World - D-brief

The first known globe to include the New World was recently found at a London map fair—an impressive 500 year survival for it being engraved into ostrich eggs.

According to analysis by an independent Belgian scholar, Stefaan Missinne, the globe not only predates the previous record holder—a globe made of copper alloy between 1504 and 1506, now on display at the New York Public Library—but the evidence suggests it was actually the model used to cast that previous record holder.

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2018-09-30 18:00 culture blog

Fred Stonehouse - Gallery

Fred Stonehouse

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2018-09-29 18:01 culture blog

Charles August Albert Dellschau (4 June 1830 Prussia – 20 April 1923 Houston Texas)

In the fall of 1899, Charles A.A. Dellschau (1830–1923), a retired butcher from Houston, embarked on a project that would occupy him for more than twenty years. What began as an illustrated manuscript recounting his experiences in the California Gold Rush became an obsessive project resulting in twelve large, hand-bound books with more than 2,500 drawings related to airships and the development of flight. Dellschau’s designs resemble traditional hot air balloons augmented with fantastic visual details, collage and text. The hand-drawn “Aeros” were interspersed with collaged pages called “Press Blooms,” featuring thousands of newspaper clippings related to the political events and technological advances of the period.

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2018-09-28 12:07 history blog

Why So Many Bog Bodies Show Signs of Violent Death

On display at the Silkeborg Museum, in Denmark, Tollund Man’s visage seems eerily peaceful—if you ignore the noose around his neck.

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2018-09-25 08:47 culture blog

The Cards of U’ut, Ellis Nadler | ANOBIUM

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2018-09-21 10:25 space blog

Japan has attempted to land two tiny rovers on a distant asteroid | Ars Technica

Each weighed only about a kilogram, and after separating from the main spacecraft they approached the asteroid named Ryugu. Japanese mission scientists think the rovers touched down successfully, but are not completely sure. Communication with the two landers stopped near the moment of touchdown.

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2018-09-16 09:56 culture blog

Svanen, 1914 - Hilma af Klint -

When Hilma af Klint began creating radically abstract paintings in 1906, they were like little that had been seen before: bold, colorful, and untethered from any recognizable reference to the physical world. It was years before Vasily Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich, Piet Mondrian, and others would take similar strides to rid their own artwork of representational content. Yet while many of her better-known contemporaries published manifestos and exhibited widely, af Klint kept her groundbreaking paintings largely private.

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2018-09-11 08:43 culture blog

In 1988, Acid House Swept Britain. These Fliers Tell the Story. - The New York Times

Shoom is often regarded as Britain’s first acid house club night. To the country’s tabloid press, the new music that swept the country in 1988 was headache-inducing, enjoyable only to partygoers on Ecstasy. The Daily Mail called it “the biggest threat to the health and welfare of Britain’s youngsters since the crazy drug cult of the ’60s.”

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2018-09-09 18:17 blog

The Illegal Ramen Vendors of Postwar Tokyo - Gastro Obscura

By October 1945, an estimated 45,000 black market stalls existed in Tokyo. The city was also home to the most famous black market in Japan, Ameyokocho. Located underneath an active train line in the center of the city, it was packed with open-air stalls selling everything from candy to ramen and clothing. In this bustling environment, vendors announced their presence with the distinctive sound of charumera flutes and sold ramen from a yatai, a wheeled food cart filled with drawers containing noodles, pork slices and garnishes, alongside pots of boiling soup and water. Prices were also low due to the abundance of American wheat and lard.

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2018-09-06 18:23 culture blog

Kenny Shopsin, Brash Owner of a Quirky Restaurant, Dies at 76 - The New York Times

“Essentially, if anyone asked me what I did for a living, I said I sold mayonnaise — mayonnaise with chicken, mayonnaise with shrimp, mayonnaise with eggs, mayonnaise with potatoes,” he told Calvin Trillin, a regular customer, in 2002, when he allowed Mr. Trillin to write a rare profile of him, in The New Yorker. “The key was that essentially you sold mayonnaise for eight dollars a pound and everything else you threw in for free.”

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2018-08-27 09:25 tech culture blog

How algorithms are transforming artistic creativity | Aeon Essays

It is getting harder to take a really terrible digital photograph, and in correlation the average quality of photographs is rising. From automated essay critiques to algorithms that advise people on fashion errors and coordinating outfits, computation is changing aesthetics. When every art has its Auto-Tune, how will we distinguish great beauty from an increasingly perfect average?

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2018-08-23 18:41 oddities blog

Watch 100 Randomly Ticking Metronomes Miraculously Achieve Synchronicity | Open Culture

The key is that the platform holding the metronomes is not fixed. It affects their movement by moving in response to theirs.

To put it another way, KE = 0.5 • m • v2. Which is to say Kinetic Energy = 0.5 • mass of object • (speed of object)2.

If you're looking for another scientific explanation, here's how Gizmodo puts it: "the metronomes are transferring energy to the platform they’re on, which then transfers that energy back to the metronomes—until they all sync up and start hitting the beat in one glorious wavelength."

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2018-08-21 18:04 anthro blog

Lessons From a 5,000-Year-Old Kenyan Cemetery - Atlas Obscura

When this man died, his community members likely arranged his body into a specific position, and bound it tightly in cloth. They carried it up a winding trail to the top of a hill. There, they laid it alongside the bodies of hundreds of other community members who had passed away: men, women and children, all buried next to each other in a giant cavity dug into the sand and bedrock. They left this particular man with what archaeologists assume was one of his prized possessions: an intricate headpiece made out of 405 gerbil teeth, plucked from at least 113 individual gerbils.

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2018-08-18 20:49 oddities blog

London museum is livestreaming a key 21st-century artifact—festering sewage | Ars Technica

From February to the start of July, the museum put the extracted excrement on exhibit, describing it as something like the picture of Dorian Gray but for society: the dark, disgusting side of ourselves. It was a hit, to say the least. In addition to hordes of visitors and engagement with the museum, curators saw an unexpected artistic response to the petrified muck. There was a musical written about it and poems composed, Holbrook said. One young boy requested a fatberg-themed birthday cake.

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